Serving Lincoln County for more than a century!

Candidate for Reardan-Edwall School Board: Lane Collier

Age: 53

Family: Married with 2 children

Day Job: Locomotive Engineer

Relevent or Volunteer Experience:

Profile questions (please respond in 100 words or less per answer):

Question 1: The School District will soon face key decisions about how to proceed with an aging high school that will either need to be remodeled or rebuilt in the next decade. As a school board member, how would you help assess the correct direction and funding model for such a large-scale project?

The board needs to look at the specific needs of the district and community, current and future. There needs to be a firm cost estimate established and followed for undertaking this project. As a district and a community we need to hold the State of Washington legislators, OSPI and the Governor accountable for help funding these capital education improvement projects thereby not relying on local voters to pass their own super majority funding stream.

Question 2: Historically, School District voters in Lincoln County vote in favor of levies and bonds when posed on the ballot, while voters in Spokane County generally vote against them. An example would be last year's capital projects levy that failed due to overwhelming opposition in Spokane County. Why do you think this disconnect exists, and how should the district aim to close that gap?

Spokane County's higher median property values and higher property tax base rate, in comparison to Lincoln County, makes Spokane voters weary of another tax increase. Especially in non student households. Some student households choose to opt their students into more conveniently located districts, private school or home school. This choice creates a voting household that feels they do not benefit from passing a bond/levy and is generally a no vote.

The district must demonstrate these needed tax dollars will positively benefit the community and its students educational needs.

Question 3: How would you help maintain a balanced District budget amidst continually rising costs and inflation? If budget issues someday led to tough decisions, such as deciding between staff layoffs and program cuts, how would you inform those choices as a Board member?

Current inflation and rising costs are having negative effects on our district and families across our region. Our district has to stay within the budget provided by Federal, State and local funding. The unfortunate side of this is cuts may need to be made to programs on a basis of need, participation, results and cost. I would hope that staff from any programs cut could be reassigned to other vacant positions rather than a layoff process.

 

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